Why Are Countries Reporting Their Gender Pay Gap?

As of 2017, UK companies with at least 250 employees have to report how much they’re paying men and women on average — and they’re not the first. Many countries like Japan and Belgium have implemented similar gender pay gap reporting schemes, in the hopes of holding businesses accountable.

UK companies recently released their gender pay gap stats for the year and the results weren’t great. Based on the data, women are paid much less than men — and in finance/banking corporations, the pay gap is particularly wide.

Critics of the reports say that they could reflect inaccuracies and that the data simply shows that men are in higher positions at the company than women. But higher-ups at several companies are acknowledging that there are lessons to be learned from them. And since the reporting has been implemented, some companies in countries like Australia have started to publicly release internal goals to help women advance and shrink their own pay gaps.

The U.S. was set to do a bit of gender pay gap reporting of its own, as part of a 2016 rule signed by Obama. But President Trump rolled back the rule a month before it was going to take effect, arguing that the rule was unnecessarily burdensome to employers.

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